Malta has a successful citizenship by investment program since 2014. The program is called the Malta Individual Investor Programme (MIIP). There were rumors about the program’s future for a while. Many claimed that the program will be canceled soon. A statement by the Malta government in early May announced otherwise.
The statement said that the program has a quota (1,800 investors). Once this quota is reached, there will be some changes. It means that the program will continue with some revisions to its content. In the statement, the government emphasized its trust in the program.
Recently, The Government of Malta made another announcement. This new statement said that the MIIP almost reached its quota of 1,800.
When is the Change Going to Take Place?
Last year’s reports by the Office of the Regulator of the Individual Investor Programme (ORiip) suggested that 1742 applications were received. 1198 of these applications were approved. It is not possible to guess the current numbers without an official report. Yet, according to Alex Muscat, the Parliamentary Secretary for Citizenship and Communities, around 70% of the limit is reached as of May.
After the recent announcement of the Government of Malta, the MIIP Agency imposed two deadlines. According to these, investors who want to benefit from the current format of the MIIP must hurry. Applications for the first step for the MIIP process must be made before July 31st, 2020. The rest of the process may continue until September 30th, 2020.
It means that if investors want to take advantage of the current format of the MIIP, they must initiate their application before the 31st of July 2020. The rest of the application process must be finished before the end of September 2020. If investors fail to apply for citizenship until the 30th of September, they will have to continue through the revised form of the program.
What Might Change and What to Do About It?
There are no certain changes as of now. There are no official announcements yet to clearly outline the alterations to come. Yet, there have been some speculations on possibilities.
The strongest part of Malta’s IIP is its due diligence. Globally appraised, Malta’s program uses a four-tier due diligence process. It is the main reason for the high investor trust in Malta. The program is very picky about its applicants. So, no huge changes are expected in this area.
The program is structurally strong. It means that radical structural changes are also not likely. Two central revisions seem possible. Both of these are about the minimum investment requirements of the program. The program started in 2014. Since then, it did not change its investment requirements. The global market, on the other hand, changed immensely.
To bridge the gap, there may be an increase in the minimum investment requirement of the real estate option. An increase in non-refundable government contribution is also possible. One final possibility is the cancellation of the 150,000 euros investment in stocks and bonds.
To dodge the increased non-refundable contribution, investors must initiate the process before July 31st, 2020. The next few weeks are the last opportunity for interested parties to likely save 150,000 euros. Since the increase in the non-refundable contribution is likely, investors are strongly advised to apply before the changes occur.